"Xonebe" the 45th team to qualify for this year's MIT semi-finalist round
This story is provided by MIT Enterprise Forum - Pan-Arab Region.
Egyptian “XoneBee” has been selected as one of the semi-finalist teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Start-Up Competition for the Ideas' Track.
XoneBee project mimics the Local Area Network concept from Computer Networks field to Mobile Communication field. The company product, vXone, insures free mobile calls in local areas and runs without requiring internet connection or overlapping mobile operator services.
The story of XoneBee started back during the early days of Jan25 Egyptian revolution when all mobile operators and internet service providers were blocked throughout Egypt. At that time, Mohammad Omara - the founder, started thinking of a solution to enable mobile users, in liberty squares like Tahrir Square, to make phone calls and send tweets independently from mobile operators and internet service providers. Inspired by the revolution, Omara inquired: “Why don’t we become the network ourselves?” YES! “We Are The Network”.
The first solution was simply based on communicating over Bluetooth. But because of the Bluetooth range limitation, Omara needed to develop a technique to cover the whole Tahrir area. This technique was based on hopping over intermediate Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones between the caller and the receiver. That was the first realization XoneBee’s slogan: “We are the Network”.
But for that solution to become valid in less crowded places, like shopping malls, office buildings, university campuses, sports clubs and hospitals, Omara thought of developing a stand-alone Bluetooth module that can play the role of intermediate mobile phones. An easy-to-stick module that can be placed anywhere to provide continuous coverage and keep a standard quality of service. At that time, an urgent need to build a team started to shine in the horizon.
Although modern mobile phones are shipped with 5 communication system chips (GSM, 3G/4G, Wifi, Bluetooth and recently NFC), mobile users can’t make phone calls to each other’s unless both are subscribed to a paid service.
vXone’s prime impact is to reduce the dependency on mobile operators and offers non-licensed alternative to mobile calls. vXone’s use of Bluetooth and WiFi technologies are more environment-friendly compared to GSM & 3G/4G, for voice calls reduce carbon footprint of the mobile devices.
The mobile LAN, being the hardware infrastructure of XoneBee’s vXone, forms a platform for an infinite number of future applications, leading to a similar number of business and job opportunities whether for XoneBee or 3rd party companies.
Generating such an Egyptian successful prototype in the Internet Technology will have a strong post-revolution economic and political impact, open new markets and constitutes a model for the youth to follow towards a strong nation.
Advice for entrepreneurs
As part of validating their business concept and raising seed fund, XoneBee also decided to apply for business plan competitions, starting with what they call “the most prestigious MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Cmpetition one”:“We are lucky enough to be offered the best mentoring workshop and the best MENA networking exposure” added the team.
XoneBee consider that entrepreneurs who get shortlisted as semi-finalists should feel proud being among the elite and should be ready to level their ideas against the best entrepreneurs in the region. Although they are travelling to Doha to get the first prize, they believe that every semi-finalist team is a winner regardless of whether they managed to cash the prize of not.
Find out more about XoneBee by:
Watching a video pitch on youtube: here
Liking them on Facebook: here
Following them on Twitter: @XoneBee